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Tuesday, October 29, 2013
This week at SMART Youth we watched “How to Survive a Plague,” a documentary about the activist movement around HIV/AIDS. This Academy-Award nominated film, which was released in 2012, followed activist groups such as ACT-UP from the early 80’s, when HIV/AIDS was just beginning as a public health crisis all the way through the late 90’s, when effective HIV treatments began to improve the quality life and increase the lifespan of those living with HIV. The film shows how effective activism can be to bring attention to an issue that is not on the national or international radar as well as force people in positions of power to take action.
After the movie, we had a lively discussion about what the youth were surprised to learn from the film, why activism is necessary, and the differences between HIV/AIDS issues in the 80’s and today. SMART Youth leaders also discussed how important it is for us to continue on this work, especially as it relates to advocating for greater funding for prevention efforts and HIV treatment as well as helping to end the stigmatization of HIV. We also recapped the Halloween party, ate popcorn, and welcomed new youth. It was a great movie night!